Are We Approaching the End of the Secular Surge?

Daniel A. Cox February 17, 2022

One of the defining demographic trends of the past several decades has been the rise of the “Nones,” also known as the religiously unaffiliated. The General Social Survey (GSS), which has measured national religious identity since the early 1970s, first identified the spike in nonreligious affiliation starting in the mid-1990s. In recent years, there have been no signs that this trend is slowing down.

However, a recent exchange with Ryan Burge, author of The Nones: Where They Came From, Who They Are, and Where They Are Going, piqued my interest about whether the rate of secular identity may be leveling off. Burge’s analysis shows that younger adults are no longer less religious than the immediately previous cohort. This plateau would suggest that the rate of unaffiliated growth will slow.

Continue reading on American Storylines

Survey Reports

An illustration of the side profiles of four people. From left to right: a young white man with blond hair, an older Black woman with short, curly Black hair, a young woman with tan skin and black hair with a blue streak, an older man with darker tan skin with curly grey hair and a mustache.

Daniel A. Cox, Beatrice Lee, Dana Popky
April 27, 2022

Politics, Sex, and Sexuality: The Growing Gender Divide in American Life

The March 2022 American Perspectives Survey examines the growing gender divide in American Life.

Daniel A. Cox
March 24, 2022

Generation Z and the Future of Faith in America

Data from the American National Family Life Survey paints a complicated picture of religious change and disaffiliation in the country today.

Daniel A. Cox
February 9, 2022

Emerging Trends and Enduring Patterns in American Family Life

The American National Family Life Survey examines the changing contours of American family life in the country today.

bridge between college graduates and those without a degree

Daniel A. Cox
December 13, 2021

The College Connection: The Education Divide in American Social and Community Life

The 2021 American Community Life Survey illuminates the growing social divide between Americans with college educations and those without.